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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    To Yoshiro's dismay, there is a letter from Shinji.

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    "Dear Yoshiro.

    I understand that, right this moment, I must be the one person you most despise. And with good reason: I've made you acutely aware of your role as the guardian of a certain young lady's heart. And if not for your conscience, this would be no burden at all.

    Still, I'm sure you're becoming increasingly aware of what kind of person Misaki is once you get past your overwhelming fear of her past deeds. Don't bother denying it.

    In any case, I've arranged a night out for the two of you. (Don't worry, Yuuta is going too, but later.) Misaki has two tickets for the Avalon Medieval Dinner Show. Use this as an opportunity to unwind, forget your troubles for a little while. Misaki will be on her best behavior, I promise. Try to learn more about her as a person, discover things she likes. You might be surprised to learn you two have a lot more in common than you believe.

    Momoko has your costumes ready. It might surprise you to learn Misaki picked them.

    Try to have some fun. I know it's hard for you, but you gotta learn sometime.

    Sincerely yours,
    Shinji"
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    ...so that's what she rushed off for.

    Yoshiro sits on the couch in the "couple's" room after reading the note, looking up from it from the wall, and building a headache from considering the ramifications of suffocating the boy with a pillow. Of course if he could do this from a coma, who knows what he could do while dead. He might even get more powerful. That's basically how it works.

    The amusing thing of it all is, he was seeing a bit more in Misaki, but the "glacial" pace was really all that could be asked for.

    ...so what could it hurt? He could stand to get out of this stuffy place anyway. He loosens his tie with a sigh.

    ...damn straight! He's going because he wants to, not because Shiki has the upper hand! Yoshiro has the upper hand here! He's a shark, not a sheep! He'll show that little brat!

    Yoshiro stands up, stomping dominantly. "I am in control of this situation!"

    ...and so with that, he sets down the note and goes looking for Misaki and Momoko.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    One of the instructions in Misaki's sheet said: "Don't show eagerness. Yes, this is a date. No, Yoshiro doesn't know it yet. Be modest and delicate. You want him to see your cute side."

    By the time he finds them, Momoko and Misaki are both in what appears to be a dressing room, with the former looking into a stall and the latter about to leave it.

    "Go on, sweetheart. Let's have a look-see."

    Misaki steps out... and she looks stunning.

    Much of the dress has a shimmering quality that Yoshiro can't put his finger on. If either of them had any couture experience, they'd be hard-pressed to find exactly what kind of fabric the dress is made of. The predominant color is midnight blue, with details in silver here and there lining the hems and tails. The long sleeves have cuts in them at elbow-height so as to be easier to move about in. From the waist up, it possesses a structure that suggests a corset, but Misaki can breathe very comfortably in it. The cut of the cleavage is modest and breathes well, while the back of the dress is a little more daring, though not by much. It invites and leaves a lot to the imagination.

    "Oh, look who has showed up! We've been waiting for you. Come on, come on, we need to get you dressed up."

    Momoko will give him just about enough time to exchange a few words as soon as his jaw comes back up, and then push him into a different stall.
    Last edited by Kuroimaken; 2015-01-06 at 02:00 PM.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    ((Some Music!))

    Yoshiro... actually does have to put in some active effort to avoid gaping. As is, his stance stiffens to avoid any improprieties, being as formal as he can manage... but his eyes are still locked on Misaki, a pink hue in his cheeks. There's an awkward pause where he's not sure if she's going to say something first, or if he's supposed to.

    Misaki is a bit more noticeably pink, with an embarrassed smile as Yoshi can't help but stare at her. "...Yoshi-kun." The break in the silence snaps him out of his temporary frozen state. He sputters a bit at first, but then breathes, and regains his composure.

    "Shizuka. A... erm." Well that didn't last long. "An excellent ch-choice." He gladly escapes this situation into the stall, sitting somewhere convenient and just breathing for a few moments before looking to whatever was picked out for him.

    Misaki's smile grows a little bit and her eyes sink to the ground at Yoshiro's floundering, a warmth growing from her chest outward, filling the usual emotional emptiness she felt. She really couldn't have asked for a better indication of what she looked like to him, sitting down herself and breathing slowly, holding her hands over her fluttering heart.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    For someone with little to no contact with the outside world, the young master surprises me sometimes when it comes to dealing with people. Momoko ponders to herself.

    Yoshiro's own attire is perhaps a little less formal than he might expect. It consists of blue trousers with a matching undershirt, a dull silver and blue tabard with a stylized fox on the front, black leather boots and a belt. All in all he actually cuts a pretty dashing figure himself; the garment is loose enough to flatter his slightly less-than-athletic physique and hint at more than there really is, without actually pretending there is more.

    "Well, well. The two of you make a nice couple." Momoko comments absent-mindedly.

    "Why don't you two take a picture to remember this moment by? Here, dear, hold his hand." The motherly woman reaches to bring the two a little closer, chastely holding each other's hands as she pulls a camera before they can truly react.

    "Smile!"

    Click!
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    Yoshiro actually has very little to object to in the costume, so he puts it all on without much fuss. As he steps out, Misaki looks over, and... just stares quietly for a moment, her eyes trailing the man from head to toe, then back up, giving an embarrassed smile. Yoshiro just does his best to stay composed. "...it really fits you, Yoshi-kun. You look..." She thinks for a moment. "...Royal?" She covers her mouth in a girlish giggle, Yoshiro working up a slight blush again... when Momoko suddenly pulls Misaki to her feet and pushes them together, snapping a picture.

    Misaki is caught by surprise, her expression one with her eyes slightly widened, and her mouth held slightly neutral, with the vague impressions of a smile.

    Yoshiro is just completely aghast. Overall it's a pretty silly picture.

    "...h-hold on now, don't be so pushy! I thought this night was for relaxing, not putting me on a leash to pull me around!" For a moment while he's lightly chastising Momoko, the hand he was holding Misaki's in lowers to his side... with Misaki's still in it. He hardly notices until Misaki gives his hand a light squeeze, and he looks over. Then down, then up, losing his train of thought. "N-now wait a minute..."

    Then he just sort of deflates. Apparently the Kuzunoha tricked him. Gah! Misaki is just taking all of this in with a muted smile, her heart still racing.

    "...so what manner of ridiculous carriage will we be riding in?" Subject change! Go! It's your only hope!
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    "Whatever do you mean, Yoshiro-san? You'll be brought to the show in a regular car. My, what silly notions you seem to have." Momoko notes, shaking her head and dismissing his protests against the "leashing".

    "Now, now, don't be cruel, Misaki-chan! I think he looks noble. Like a knight. A knight whom ought to stand up for his lady."

    Those words would later come back to haunt Yoshiro. He just knew it.

    "There's still a couple of minutes until the car comes around, so please let me know if you need anything. Water, perhaps?"
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    Misaki's eyes widen slightly at Momoko's comment, and she nods. "...yeah, that's better. Noble." She smiles a little wider and is still displaying a healthy tone of pink in her cheeks.

    Yoshiro rubs his forehead slightly. An aspirin would be wonderful. Or just a bottle of them. But no. "...no thank you, I'll be fine." Misaki also shakes her head, and from there, they wait! Not much more to do.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    As it turns out, the car is black and elegant, but not overly sophisticated. The couple does get a driver, since chances are Yoshiro wouldn't know where to take them if asked where that particular dinner show was supposed to take place. It's a short drive overall; they should be able to exchange a few words if they're not too busy being embarassed.

    The driver is careful to bring it around and open the door so Yoshiro steps out first... and is thus made to help Shizuka out of the car.

    Oh look, more handholding!
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    The car ride is... quiet, really, Yoshiro feeling awkward enough at this whole thing and Misaki being nervous.

    Yoshiro sighs slightly, but conforms to the expectation. He's starting to think Yuuta may not, in fact, come here. He steps into the night air, and holds his hand out. Misaki stares at it for a bare second before taking it gingerly and following Yoshiro... at which point, he does what he feels is slightly daring, but socially appropriate, and links his arm with hers. His expression is... admittedly neutral, but she looks like, for a brief moment, that she could simply melt on the spot. She doesn't. But her smile is hard to top and her cheeks are once again aflame.

    The pair walk into the building without much more ceremony, Yoshiro giving a nod to the driver before moving along. His inner monologue is... conflicted.

    'Guardian of this girl's heart'? She doesn't need a guardian, she needs a strait jacket! How am I letting myself be dragged into this?

    ...if this is what I need to do to keep her out of trouble, then... I suppose, this is my burden.

    ...she is... somewhat cute. His mouth quirks as he thinks to her various expressions over the last hour or so, then onto the last few days... And in this instance, she is... quite stunning.

    Glad you can see past the blood on your hands. Good for you. Try not to do too much thinking down there. With a sigh, he fights off the negativity. Whatever the outcome... he should try to keep an open, light mind. Misaki looks up to him with slight confusion at the sudden sigh. "...is something wrong, Yoshi-kun?"

    "...no, just... wrestling with my inner pessimism, I suppose. I would... like to enjoy tonight." With that, she nods slightly, smiling again as they press onward to see whatever this night will hold.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    Like the European royalty of old, the two of them are taken to their table without delay once the tickets are presented. The staff is acting surprisingly in-character, full of "m'lords" and "m'ladies" and "thou" - which, as it turns out, for them is a combination of archaic Japanese and the occasional gratuitous burst of Engrish. It's a charming, if a bit quirky construction. Being both likely fluent in English themselves, Misaki and Yoshiro could probably teach the staff a thing or two. The menu is heavy on meats and quite varied, clearly one of the points that was most thoroughly researched - the cooking methods are even meant to imitate period cuisine. The prices are fairly high, though nothing either had not seen the likes of before.

    And it's not like they need to worry about it. The Kuzunohas are footing the bill.

    Here, Misaki remembers another instruction.

    "Pick one of the following beverages: Azut Wine, Clairemont White Wine, or Rothschild Mead. They all contain very low alcohol - no matter your tolerance, you don't want to be TOO uninhibited, but you do want Yoshiro to see you as a mature, sophisticated woman. Any of those you pick, the waiter will remark on. Use it as an opportunity to start conversation."
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    ((Music! Also as much as I enjoy this back and forth... maybe some spicing up with additional folks should be on the table. XD))

    Yoshiro at the least cannot complain. While he is in fact quite well off in terms of paying for himself... it is extremely likely any accounts he would use are tagged for activity. So he has to avoid suspicion. He overlooks the menu carefully, some European dishes mixed in, which was quite interesting. Very little he had not tried personally before, but he was, after all, a high-class citizen before this.

    Misaki does recall that part of the instructions... but as she spies the wine lists, she begins to formulate some opinions of her own. What Shiki might not have known is that Misaki has done her share of fine dining... mostly in the purposes of a job, but she knows the minutiae of fine dining. She notes a couple of items on the menu, and waits for Yoshiro to speak first...

    "I believe I'll go with the roast venison, and I'd be interested in your wines." Misaki makes a polite cough at that, offering a smile to Yoshiro before turning to the waiter. She speaks in a sudden calm, but sophisticated tone that suggests much more of a proper and high-class upbringing than she was given, at least to Yoshiro's knowledge.

    "I would like the chicken chasseur, and I agree on the wine; but I'd ask first to know what red table wines you have on hand." Yoshiro looks to Misaki in more than a little surprise, but turns and nods to the waiter. He wasn't exactly a wine snob, or even passingly knowledgeable, so it seemed as good a start as any.

    ((I am also not a wine snob, so I have been cross-referencing guides to try and get a passing idea of what I am talking about, but I'm an uncultured lout so I probably failed. >_>))
    Last edited by strawberryman; 2014-11-05 at 07:57 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    (( Whatever gives you the impression I know any better? I pulled those names out of a catalog of vaguely wine-y names off the top of my head.

    As for more people getting involved, show a little patience. It'll happen soon.))

    As it turns out, Misaki's mentions call the attention of another, older couple a table away.

    "Well dear, I do believe we have a conoisseur amongst us. She seems so young!" The lady speaks, and blushes a bright pink if, as it turns out, Misaki hears her.

    Which she probably would.

    "Forgive me for intruding. This is our first time here and, well, we don't know what to make of all this selection. We're not exactly gourmets. I'm Seika, pleased to meet you."

    The gentleman seems a bit more reserved, but he presents himself soon enough.

    "Yuiro. Nice to meet you both."
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    ((Oh, I meant other players. But fair enough. ))

    Misaki looks over with a false smile, but most people would not be able to spot it. Yoshiro nudges her under the table, offering a more genuine, if subdued smile to the couple. "Yoshiro. It's a pleasure."

    Misaki takes another second to respond, cataloging everything about them, her stare subtly blank for the short period of time. It might just register as a little social anxiety. Which might seem odd, given her confidence before! "Misaki." That's it, really.

    Yoshiro tries to be a bit more social. "...well, I am no gourmet, but perhaps Shiz-... Misaki can offer her recommendation." He's not quite sure why he's offering this. She blinks and looks to Yoshiro for a second, but doesn't voice an objection...
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    ((Date's crowded as it is. And there are more characters incoming. ))

    That's so strange. There's something... oddly familiar about this couple.

    At first, Misaki doesn't realize it, but looking a bit closer... The older gentleman looks a bit like Yoshiro, while the older woman... well, she looks like an older version of herself.

    And then there's their names. 'Seika' is a possible alternate reading for 'Shizuka', depending on how one writes the name. 'Yuiro' follows in a simialr vein.

    And then, realization strikes her like a pillowcase full of cinderblocks: this is one of the situations her letter mentioned! Ugh, she blundered right into that one.

    "Come now, Seika. We are clearly intruding on these youngsters."

    The way the woman elbows the man in return might look comical or alarming... or both.

    "Oh hush, Yuiro. Surely this gracious young lady could offer us a bit of advice."
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    Misaki tries and mostly succeeds to hide a wince of annoyance, but recovers quickly. Churning over the options, she stands up and walks over to the other couple, politely folding her hands before her waist. Yoshiro looks on from the table, wondering how she'll handle this...

    "...what do both of you like? Do you want sea food, white meat, dark meat? Something else?" She stands by cautiously and quietly while they answer. She's a little chilly, but perhaps because she is not exactly a sociable person.
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    "Japanese cuisine is primarily seafood. I think we should go with dark meat." Yuiro points out.

    "It's a good point, darling." Seika replies.

    She smiles up at Misaki. It's a really warm smile. Like getting a hug from your grandma warm. Not particularly easy to keep grumpy under those circunstances...

    "How about it, Misaki-chan? What's a good option?"
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    It might not be easy to keep grumpy, but grumpy is not exactly a proper qualifier for what Misaki currently is! It's more like ambivalence. She really just wanted to do this to impress Yoshiro...

    Misaki thinks for a moment. "Well, beef is a classic choice, there's steak, roast beef, or perhaps cottage pie, among other things. There's also lamb; roast lamb, grilled chops, or shepherd's pie... Duck is also considered red meat, and there are a few choices for that. If you want wine to go with that, I would suggest a medium red such as the table wine, or a bolder red such as Cabernet." She nods slightly, making sure they followed along. "If you have a more traditional or simple taste, I might suggest a simple beef steak, and pair that with a bold red wine. The Cabernet, as mentioned. If you're feeling adventurous, I would suggest perhaps the Chilli con Carne, and pair that with a Zinfandel." She nods again.

    Yoshiro's eyebrows raise another few notches. Huh.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    Puh-leeze! If not grumpy, then she's at least grouchy, because her date got 'interrupted'.

    Regardless, the couple looks fairly impressed. Perhaps not as much as Yoshiro, but...

    "Roast beef and Cabernet." The two of them speak in unison.

    ...it's actually pretty cute. Misaki gets the sense they're not actors. This is an actual couple that Shinji arranged to be here tonight. Though their names might be made-up. She doesn't get the sense they're spiritually empowered, however.

    But she does, briefly, get to imagine herself and Yoshiro in their stead. Living together. Laughing with each other.

    And perhaps for the first time since she decided to act on those feelings, she gets the notion that it could actually happen. That Yoshiro could want to be with her.

    Yoshiro, for his own part, might not see the elder couple as a representation of their older selves. But for him, that's not the intended reaction. For him, they're a break from his usual fear of Misaki. They're clearly different, yet they work it out somehow. Something to think about.

    "We really should leave them to their dinner now, Seika. We've intruded enough."

    "You can be such a stick in the mud, Yuiro. But... I guess you're right. Sorry we took your time, dearies. And thanks again for the recommendations."
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    Misaki nods to the couple with that, giving a short bow before returning to Yoshiro. He's pensive for a few moments, considering how to respond to this. He was sure that if he hadn't mentioned it, Misaki wouldn't jump at the opportunity, and it was likely just a means of impressing or appeasing him... but she also didn't necessarily need to do it.

    "...That was nice of you, Shizuka." Misaki looks up, awed at Yoshiro's approval. "I wasn't aware you had such a matured sense of cuisine, I'll admit."

    Misaki gives a sheepish smile in response. "...I learned a lot of things from my father, and your mother. For reasons you don't like, but... that doesn't bother you, does it?"

    "...It doesn't. The reasons they taught you these things shouldn't matter, for all the faults in your teaching, you have a base of social skills that is quite impressive. I simply would like you to understand that after all this is over... you can adapt, you don't need to justify it with death or a political advantage. You can simply be yourself."

    Misaki bites her lip. "...I'm not sure I know who 'myself' is. I've pretended to be so many people, and catered to your mother so much that I don't even know if I have hobbies or anything... me."

    "...I am sure you'll find something, Shizuka. You're quite smart."
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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    "Your attention please! We will now begin our circus presentation! Please put your hands together for Miki Hanakawa and the Impossibles!"

    There are two basic reasons why the performances in question might surprise the couple. One of them is variety. Even if either have seen a circus before, they had never seen one fashioned seemingly out of the blue, with no previous apparent setup. "Impossibles" was as good a word for the troupe as any. The lion that the tamer was up against was easily twice the size a lion SHOULD be. Since the public was several meters up above the arena, there was no danger whatsoever to them.

    The second thing that might surprise them was that some of the crew was spiritually sensitive, using a discreete suite of power to enable their performance. The acrobats in particular, however, were not, though the rods they used for their flying act were manipulated by someone else. They still had no safety net, so whoever they were working with, they needed to trust a LOT.

    But perhaps the most important thing. Neither Shizuka nor Yoshiro were here because of social obligations. They were here to enjoy themselves. As if a present to bring back a childhood lost to either.

    Dammit Shinji.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    Yoshiro, having had the closest thing to a childhood of the two, observes the performance with a slight smile upon his face, letting go of the stresses of the past couple weeks not entirely, but enough to set them aside, for now.

    For Misaki, it is not quite so easy. She is... entirely unsure how to react, staring in a manner that is probably quite off-putting at first before frowning and turning to Yoshiro. Then... she observes his smile. Her heart aches as she looks upon him, putting aside his problems, putting aside the mask he used to interact with people (and Misaki knew everyone had one), and just... enjoying the moment. Why couldn't she enjoy it, too? The easy answer was that she didn't know how. But... if she couldn't let her constant ticking and analyzing go for a simple, silly performance... how could she truly let it go for Yoshiro? Maybe... she could let go. Maybe...

    Yoshiro looks away from the performance for a moment, turning a frown as he notices Misaki's blank, slightly glassy-eyed expression. "...er. Shizuka, are you all right?"

    For a moment, Misaki is quiet, then she snaps out of it, smiling. "...yeah, Yoshi-kun!" Her change is... almost a little alarming. She turns to the performance with a widened smile, clapping and cheering almost... childishly as she watches an acrobat succeed in a harrowing stunt. She was no longer watching the strings, but the puppets... the people, even. Her enthusiasm was... pure. She wasn't acting. She was just living in the moment.

    She looks back to Yoshiro with her wide smile, disarming him quite easily with just how different she looked. "I've never been to a circus before! This is... fun! I think!"

    ...fun? It's... it's like she's an entirely different person... Is she... really this fractured?

    "I wanna get closer, Yoshi-kun! ...you can come too, if you want!" With a girlish giggle, she stands and strides over to the railing or whatever barrier there was between the performers and the audience, cheering and clapping at appropriate moments. For a moment, Yoshiro is... entirely dumbfounded. Sure, her desperately clingy moments were something he found more aggravating than her murderous intent (of course, her profession was quite more terrifying). But... there was no acting here. She was a girl; one with a disablingly small level of empathetic and actual social education outside of what she used to complete her missions, but a girl nonetheless.

    ...and he had to admit, it was kind of cute. As he's thinking this, he stands and follows Misaki to the edge himself, perhaps not as enthusiastic as his 'date', but... his smile is subtly bigger.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    The performance goes on for a little while longer. For some reason, the words from Shinji's letter naming Yoshiro as guardian to Misaki's heart ring truer than ever.

    Damn that kid for being right. Or is it?

    And then comes the real spectacle of the night. A jousting performance! What kind of medieval dinner theater would this be without some knights smashing each other to bits on horseback, right?

    Of course, it's styled just about a bit different than expected.

    "Lords and ladies of our fair land, we will now commence a round of the most intense horseback riding action you've ever seen!

    In this corner, representing the Duchy of Devonshire, the Sky Knight Tenma!

    And in this corner, representing the Barony of Lancastershire, the mysterious Black Knight! Please put your hands together for the contestants!"
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    Misaki claps enthusiastically, leaning on the rail and looking to Yoshiro with a smile before looking back to the performance. Yoshiro tries to smile back, but a sudden rush of thought hits him.

    She's trying... Or maybe Kuzunoha coached her somehow? I can't really say, but it seems real...

    Misaki turns to him again, her mood dampened but not extinguished, as the jousting match is still going through the preparations. "You didn't have to come here if you didn't want to, Yoshi-kun... but I'm glad you did." She pauses. "...does that mean, maybe, that you wanted to come? Even though you didn't know what would happen, if we'd have anything to talk about or whether Shiki-san would set up more ridiculous things for us..."

    Yoshiro blushes a subtle red, scratching behind his head for a moment. "I... uh, erm..." While he was struggling to answer the question, his body language was betraying how he really felt, that yes, he was enjoying this and maybe to some degree, he wanted to be here.

    Misaki just smiles a bit wider and turns back to the match.

    Yoshiro mumbles nonsensically to himself in a flustered mood. When is their food arriving? Food is good at taking your mind off of things.
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  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    OH HEY, IS THAT THE WAITER?

    Why yes, yes it is.

    He offers to push their table closer to the railing so they can watch the whole thing while still having dinner.

    The food is obviously delicious. So are the drinks, although Yoshiro's choice proves to be a little stronger than Shizuka's. (Either that or she can hold her liquor better.)

    As it turns out, the Black Knight is a skilled combatant. He knows how to feign weakness to entertain the crowd and keep them guessing as to whom the winner could be. But the ease with which he brings his foe down from his horse once he does try, and his body language, both speak volumes to the trained eye, especially Shizuka's. She can detect a small modicum of spiritual power about, but it's tough to pinpoint the source from where she is. The combat isn't staged - the "Black Knight" has the distinct feel of a competitor.

    The matches continue, with at least three more "knights" being introduced and felled by the fearsome fighter.

    "Oh my! It seems the Black Knight is short on contestants! What will he demand from the King as his reward?"
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    ((Since we seem to have met a real stumbling block here, I'll push things along a little. ))

    And then the Black Knight points out to where Shizuka and Yoshiro are. A spotlight flares to life right on top of them.

    Of course.

    "Oh my! It seems the Black Knight demands a lady of the King's Court! What a harrowing turn of events!

    But will the King acquiesce?!"


    While the narrator is still busy with his part, the Black Knight breaks into a gallop towards their position.

    A girl as smart and experienced in battle as Shizuka can obviously see him coming as soon as she recovers from the sudden flash of bright light to her face. The situation was clearly engineered, however, so that one could justify her actually being taken, especially as the 'Knight' leaps from his horse and over the railing. She could blame the wine, the spotlight disorienting her, anything really.

    The instruction about letting Yoshiro see her 'cute side' obviously comes to mind. And it hardly gets cuter than the damsel in distress schtick!
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    While Yoshiro sits with a dazzle in his eyes, Misaki is already standing, flawlessly reaching for a leverage point to just toss the Black Knight wholly to the ground. Should she succeed, she follows up with an axe kick towards the knight's solar plexus while he's floored.

    Yeah, she wasn't doing that.

    "...ack! Misaki! No!"

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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    Which ends with... the Knight landing on his feet.

    Huh. Maybe he's one of the acrobats from earlier?

    As it turns out, there's a LOT of weight to shift, and a lot of momentum to carry. The Black Knight ends up grabbing her arm and spinning as if in some sort of weird dance.

    "Haha! How feisty!"
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    Misaki hisses, and instinctively reaches for her heel for... something. But there's a flash, and Yoshiro activates the ring before she can do anything overly harmful, and she is likely left open for the trouble.

    "Not now, Misaki!" Yoshiro is still just shocked enough that he hasn't gotten up.

    Dammit. If you're behind this, Shiki, we're going to have a few words whenever you wake up...
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: [BitPR2] Gaiden: Operation Burning Hearts!

    The knight takes this opening to try and sling Misaki over his shoulder while offering Yoshiro a stereotypical villain's laugh. Some people around are applauding the spectacle.

    And that's when he pulls the faceplate up...

    ...oh crap, Yoshi knows this guy. He's a Moto!

    If successful, the knight will leap back into the arena and onto his horse to deliver Misaki to his lackeys.

    The 'king' and other actors seem genuinely distressed, like this isn't in the script.

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    No, he's not actually a Moto. His spiritual pressure feels familiar to Misaki, though she can't put her finger on it exactly.
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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

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